Larry Norman
American musician
Larry Norman
Larry David Norman was an American musician, singer, songwriter, record label owner, and record producer. He was one of the pioneers of Christian rock music. Since Norman's first professional release in 1967 as a lead singer of the one-hit wonder band People!, more than 100 of his own albums have been released through labels as Capitol, MGM, Verve, and his own independent labels: One Way Records, Solid Rock Records, Street Level Records, and Phydeaux Records.
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Evangelicalism, Anti-Abortion Violence, and Contemporary Christian Music
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Waking up the other day to the news of the shootings at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood building, my mind drifted back in time, conjuring lyrics and songs from my youth. I grew up listening to "Christian rock" before there was such thing as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). The 1970s are synonymous for me with Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, and the Resurrection Band. When the Colorado-based Steve Taylor hit the scene in the early 80s, I found his music catchy and clever, a kind-of Oingo Boingo for the Christian set. (He claimed that The Clash's London Calling saved his life.) His song "I Want to be a Clone" castigated Christians who conformed quickly to a one-size fits all ideology and style. "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)" cut into the cult of celebrity, while "We Don't Need no Color Code" challenged the rampant racism of some conservative Christian settings, especially at the prominent Bob Jones University. This was also the age when renowned evangelical intellectual ...
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Huffington Post article
The New (Hipper) Sound Of Muslim Music
Huffington Post - over 3 years
(RNS) In the early 1970s, singers such as the late Larry Norman transformed Christian music from hymns to rock ‘n’ roll by asking one simple question: Why should the devil have all the good music? Now a group of young Muslim musicians is doing the same for Islamic songs known as “nasheeds,” by combining hip-hop, country and pop music with the traditional message of their faith. “Nasheeds are supposed to remind people of God,” said 22-year-old Mo Sabri of Johnson City, Tenn., one of the first Muslim singers with his own channel on “If it has a good message, a song can be a rock song or have guitars and still be a nasheed.” Sabri, 22, first began writing hip-hop nasheeds about two years ago. He sells his songs on iTunes and posts videos on YouTube. His first, called “Heaven Is Where Her Heart Is,” is about finding a girl who puts God first in her life. His most popular song, “I Believe in Jesus,” has already been viewed on YouTube more than 1 million ...
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Huffington Post article
Former 'Jesus Freak' Traces The Evolution Of Christian Rock
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
By Don Lattin Religion News Service (RNS) Bob Gersztyn owned a fine collection of 300 rock'n' roll albums in 1971, the year he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. Among them were some choice 1960s vinyl from Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Mothers of Invention. But all of a sudden, this was the devil's music. "I destroyed some of them with a hammer and took the rest to a used record store," he recalled with a laugh. "I think I kept 10 classical music albums that I decided were not anti-Christian." Gersztyn retained his love of rock'n' roll, but limited his listening to Christian rock, a genre that was just getting going in the era of the hippie-inspired "Jesus freaks" and the hit Broadway musical "Jesus Christ Superstar." He joined a Four Square Gospel Church in Los Angeles, enrolled in Bible college, and became a Pentecostal preacher. He also started emceeing and booking concerts for such Christian artists as Keith Green to 2nd ...
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Huffington Post article
Loudermilk Bell buys Harry Norman Building
Buckhead Patch - over 4 years
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Buckhead Patch article
Open Houses Near Woodstock
Woodstock Patch - almost 5 years
This week House Hunt offers Open Houses ranging in price from $176,900 for a two-bedroom home on Abbey Circle in Woodstock to a four-bedroom home on Edwards Brook Lane in Holly Springs for $875,000. Click on a picture in the photo gallery to see a listing description. Click on an address listed below and get directly linked to AOL Real Estate for the complete listing information. You'll find helpful tools such as mortgage calculators, credit prequalifying, home buying tips and contact information for the listing you choose. 317 Red Gate Overlook, Holly Springs 30115. $550,000. Open House: 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 5 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms. 5,465 Sq. Ft. Stunning custom ranch with amazing lake frontage and panoramic views. This 4-sided hard coat stucco home with low maintenance, vinyl windows, allows for easy living. This home is nestled on this 2.26 private acreage with refreshing in-ground pool and room for horses and a barn. This unique home features an open floor plan for enterta ...
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Woodstock Patch article
U. of C.'s big muse on campus; expectations rise along with Logan Center for the Arts, designed by architects Williams and Tsien
Chicago Times - almost 5 years
From today's print edition By Howard Reich Tribune critic Ten years in the making and $114 million to build, the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago will loom large in Hyde Park — and probably well beyond. Nothing quite like it, in fact, ever has arisen in the Chicago area, and no one knows for sure exactly how the place will operate. The learning curve will begin Monday, when students begin pouring into a most unusual complex that dares to combine classrooms, performing arts spaces, movie theater, rehearsal rooms, art gallery and you-name-it. All those spaces won't be fully humming until October, when the Logan Center — at 60th Street and Drexel Boulevard (above, in rendering) — opens officially. For now, U. of C. students will be at the front lines of bringing the Logan Center to life, with other, more public functions coming gradually, leading up to grand-opening festivities Oct. 11-13. But a recent hard-hat tour through a venue swa ...
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Chicago Times article
Evangelical royalty's game of thrones - GetReligion
Google News - over 5 years
They are known for their apologetics and influence on a wide swath of people including everyone from Jesus People organizer Jack Sparks to musicians Larry Norman and Mark Heard. To say those parents were very well regarded among evangelicals,
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Google News article
Strathroy musician releases third CD - Strathroy Age Dispatch
Google News - over 5 years
This bluesy-style album has 10 original songs, and one written by Larry Norman, of Street Level Records. Berg plays a variety of instruments on the album and says his musical influences include Eric Clapton and John Mayer. For Berg, singing the blues
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Google News article
West Bank violence rattles some residents - FOX 8 News WVUE-TV
Google News - over 5 years
"That time of morning, drugs or money, that's it," said Larry Norman, a resident who lives nearby. Norman says he has become accustomed to the violent crime in his own neighborhood. "That's the entry wound up here in the back, the exit wound is up here
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Google News article
Louis Shawn Manahan - Odessa American
Google News - over 5 years
SURVIVORS Wife, Kristin Langlois of Kerrville; mother, Diane Manahan of Kerrville; father, Shawn Manahan of Kerrville; grandparents, Larry Norman of Odessa and Felix and Mary Gomez of Brady; great-grandmother, Connie Colvin of Brady; sons,
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Google News article
Police log - Lewiston Sun Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Larry Norman Maheux, 43, of 137 College St., domestic violence assault, 9:20 pm Wednesday at that address. * Carlton Lee Gallant, 26, of 262 Park St., violation of bail conditions, 1:55 am Thursday on College Street. * Roger Alex-Joseph Lizotte, 40,
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Google News article
10 Questions with ... WALES ROAD -
Google News - over 5 years
“Larry Norman. The grandfather of Christian rock. Without him, there would be no Skillet, or Third Day or Reliant K or MercyMe, etc. He laid the ground work and paved the way for contemporary Christian music. I love his art and music
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Google News article
Gospelklänge auf höchstem Niveau - Mindener Tageblatt
Google News - over 5 years
Songs von Larry Norman hat sie übersetzt, die heißen nun "Das süße Lied der Erlösung" und "Ich lasse mir vom Teufel nicht den Rock n Roll stibitzen" und zeigen vielleicht schon die Richtung ihrer nächste CD-Produktion: Gospel mit deutschen Texten?
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Google News article
Upon this rock - City Pulse
Google News - over 5 years
In “No Sympathy,” Stowe assembles a wild cast of characters and bit players, from born-again Bob Dylan, joyous Stevie Wonder and gospel-toting Johnny Cash, to lesser-known names like Larry Norman and Lonnie Frisbee, recognized primarily in the
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Google News article
The Suddenness of Christ's Appearing - Christian Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The movie's theme song "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", originally written by Larry Norman and re-released in recent years by the Christian band DC Talk, still echoes in my mind. The lyrics, though catchy and memorable, had a sobering effect on that 10
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Google News article
Chrétiens aux sonorités métal - Témoignage Chrétien
Google News - over 5 years
Un des premiers porte-parole de ce courant était Larry Norman (voir encadré), célèbre chanteur de rock qui, en 1972, se demandait dans une chanson du même nom : « Pourquoi laisser au diable toute la bonne musique ? » (Why Should The Devil Have All The
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Google News article
University Announces Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry - Newswise (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
He is a fitting choice for director of this ambitious, new program,” says Larry Norman, Deputy Provost for the Arts. Levin says he believes that the Gray Center can be instrumental in transcending traditional boundaries separating the arts and academia
Article Link:
Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Larry Norman
  • 2008
    Age 60
    Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman: A Bible Story is a controversial 2008 documentary on Norman's life by filmmaker David Di Sabatino.
    More Details Hide Details Fallen Angel includes interviews with several people who had worked with or been close to Norman thirty years earlier, including his first wife and Randy Stonehill, who recorded the film's official soundtrack, Paradise Sky. Norman and his second wife had refused to participate or cooperate in the project. A cease and desist notice initiated by Norman's family temporarily prevented the film's public screening, and prompted Di Sabatino to file his own lawsuit against Solid Rock in March 2009. Four months later, the case was settled out of court, allowing the film to be shown. While interviewing Stonehill, Cross Rhythms Mike Rimmer said the film portrayed Norman as "Machiavellian, particularly in his dealings with his artists." Since the 1960s, Norman's work has appeared on over 100 albums, compilations, and concert bootlegs. These recordings have been released under various labels and with various artists. Some of his principal albums are:
    In 2008, the Christian magazine World reported that Norman had allegedly fathered a son with an Australian woman during a 1988 tour.
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    In 2008, Christian rock historian John J. Thompson wrote, "It is certainly no overstatement to say that Larry Norman is to Christian music what John Lennon is to rock & roll or Bob Dylan is to folk music."
    More Details Hide Details Thompson credited Norman for his impact on the genre as a musician, a producer, and a businessman. Steve Camp, Carolyn Arends, Bob Hartman, TobyMac, Mark Salomon, Martyn Joseph, and Steve Scott. Black Francis of the Pixies is also a fan of Norman's work. Over 300 artists have covered songs by Norman.
  • 2007
    Age 59
    Throughout his career, Norman had a contentious relationship with the wider Christian church and with the Christian music industry. He wrote in September 2007, "I love God and I follow Jesus but I just don't have much affinity for the organized folderol of the churches in the Western World."
    More Details Hide Details Norman's music addressed a wide range of social issues, such as politics, free love, the occult, the passive commercialism of wartime journalists, and religious hypocrisy, that were outside the scope of his contemporaries. Defending the confrontational approach of his music, Norman said, "My primary emphasis is not to entertain. But if your art is boring, people will reject your message as well as your art." In the 1980s, he complained that Christian music generally meant "sloppy thinking, dishonest metaphors and bad poetry," and that he had "never been able to get over the shock of how bad the lyrics are." Norman disapproved of Christian musicians who were unwilling to play in secular venues or to "preach" between songs. He also criticized what he saw as the "commercialization of Christian music in America", including the role of copyrights and licensing.
    Norman continued to perform and release albums throughout his later years in order to raise funds for medical expenses stemming from heart problems. He gave his last official concert on August 4, 2007, in New York City.
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  • 1992
    Age 44
    In February 1992, Norman suffered a nine-hour heart attack that resulted in permanent heart damage, leading to frequent hospitalizations in the years that followed.
    More Details Hide Details By early 1995, Norman had been hospitalized thirteen times and had a defibrillator implant, which enabled him to perform occasional small concerts.
  • 1991
    Age 43
    While visiting another musician at the close of a February 1991 tour, Norman received prayer for his long-term health problems from a pastor of London's Elim Way Fellowship.
    More Details Hide Details Norman maintained that through this prayer God repaired the damage to his brain and he was able to function again. That year, he collaborated with his brother Charles on the album Stranded in Babylon, hailed by both critics and fans as one of his best. They would reunite for the 2001 album Tourniquet.
  • 1989
    Age 41
    In 1989, Norman received the Christian Artists' Society Lifetime Achievement Award.
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  • 1986
    Age 38
    Norman signed to Benson Records in 1986 and recorded the album Home At Last, although the album was not released until 1989 due to legal problems.
    More Details Hide Details Despite extensive promotion, the album was negatively reviewed, and Norman himself later dismissed the album as "just a collection of tapes I had", although he said separately that he was "extremely happy" with the level of support he'd received from Benson.
  • 1985
    Age 37
    He signed a distribution deal with British label Chapel Lane and released several albums before returning to the United States in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details Norman then began work on an anthology project celebrating his career in Christian music, beginning with the album White Blossoms from Black Roots: The History and the Chronology: Volume One; however, the project collapsed when the head of the distribution company was arrested for check forgery and the company's merchandise was seized by the FBI.
  • 1982
    Age 34
    In April 1982, Norman married Sarah Mae Finch. However, another source indicates this was in April 1984 Finch had previously been married to Randy Stonehill from 1975 to 1980. The two had first met at a religious retreat in 1969. Their only child, Michael David Fariah Finch Norman, was born in August 1985. The couple divorced in 1995.
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  • 1980
    Age 32
    In late 1980, Norman moved to England and, with his father, founded Phydeaux Records, a company designed to compete with the bootleg market by selling rarities from Norman's own archives.
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  • 1979
    Age 31
    In September 1979, Norman performed his "The Great American Novel", "a Dylanesque protest song", for U.S. president Jimmy Carter and about 1,000 guests at the Old Fashioned Gospel Singin concert held on the south lawn of the White House.
    More Details Hide Details Following a prolonged dispute with Solid Rock artist Daniel Amos, which ended in estrangement, Solid Rock's business manager and several Solid Rock musicians organized an intervention with Norman in June 1980, which led him to begin closing the company. Religious history professor Randall Ballmer attributed the company's demise to "idealism, marital difficulties, and financial naivete -- as well as changing musical tastes."
  • 1978
    Age 30
    He was unable to record a bonafide album from the time of his airplane accident in 1978 until... he attempted to release the badly produced Home At Last in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details He never expected to be healed."
    In 1978, Norman was injured during a plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport.
    More Details Hide Details Norman claimed to have suffered mild brain damage due to being hit by parts of the cabin's roof, and that this damage left him unable to complete projects and focus artistically. William Ayers wrote in 1991: "As family, friends and fans watched, his life spiraled downward.
  • 1976
    Age 28
    In Another Land, the third album in Norman's trilogy and the best-selling album of his career, was released in 1976 by Solid Rock and distributed through Word.
    More Details Hide Details Soon afterward, Norman recorded the blues-rock concept album Something New under the Son, but it would not be released until 1981. Following clashes with Word over Something New and several other projects, Norman started Phydeaux Records in 1980 to release his albums.
  • 1974
    Age 26
    In 1974, Norman founded Solid Rock Records to produce records for Christian artists "who didn't want to be consumed by the business of making vinyl pancakes but who wanted to make something 'non-commercial' to the world".
    More Details Hide Details Norman produced music on the label for artists including Randy Stonehill, Mark Heard, Tom Howard, and David Edwards. Norman also produced artists who were signed to other labels, including Malcolm and Alwyn, Bobby Emmons and the Crosstones, Lyrix, and James Sundquist. Norman signed a deal with ABC Records to distribute Solid Rock's releases, but was later moved to ABC subsidiary Word Records. In the same year, Norman founded the Christian artist booking agency Street Level Artists Agency.
  • 1973
    Age 25
    The release of Garden in November 1973 was met with controversy in the Christian press, due to the album's cover art and some songs in which Norman took the persona of a backslider.
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  • 1971
    Age 23
    Norman married actress and model Pamela Fay Ahlquist in December 1971. They separated in 1978 and divorced in September 1980.
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    In 1971, Norman first visited England, where he lived and worked for several years.
    More Details Hide Details He recorded two studio albums, Only Visiting This Planet and So Long Ago the Garden, in London's AIR Studios. Released in 1972, Visiting "was meant to reach the flower children disillusioned by the government and the church" with its "abrasive, urban reality of the gospel", and has often been ranked as Norman's best album.
  • 1970
    Age 22
    In 1970, Norman established a record label, One Way Records.
    More Details Hide Details He released two of his own albums Street Level and Bootleg on the label as well as Randy Stonehill's first album, Born Twice.
  • 1969
    Age 21
    In 1969, Capitol Records released Norman's first solo album, Upon This Rock, now considered to be "the first full-blown Christian rock album".
    More Details Hide Details Norman was denounced by various television evangelists, and Capitol deemed the album a commercial flop and dropped Norman from the label. However, his music gained a large following in the emerging countercultural movements. Sales of the album rose following its distribution in Christian bookstores. By the early 1970s, Norman was performing frequently for large audiences, and appeared at several Christian music festivals, including Explo '72, a six-day Dallas, Texas, event which has been called the "Jesus Woodstock." Norman established a half-way house where he "housed and fed various groups of people, supervised their Bible studies and drove them to church on Fridays and Sundays". He earned $80 per month from Capitol for polishing and refining songs for Capitol artists.
    Also in 1969, Norman wrote a musical called Love on Haight Street and a rock opera called Lion's Breath, which led Capitol to re-sign Norman to record an album, with the promise of complete creative control.
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  • 1968
    Age 20
    In 1968 Norman wrote several songs for the rock musicals Alison and Birthday for Shakespeare, both of which were performed in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details The next year, Norman and his friend Teddy Neeley auditioned for the Los Angeles production of the rock musical Hair and were offered the roles of George Berger and Claude Bukowski, respectively; Neeley accepted, but Norman rejected the role of George, despite his own financial struggles, because "of its glorification of drugs and free sex as the answers to today's problems".
    In July 1968, following a job offer to write musicals for Capitol Records, Norman moved to Los Angeles, where he "spent time sharing the gospel on the streets".
    More Details Hide Details As he described in 2006: "I walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard several times a day witnessing to businessmen and hippies, and to whomever the Spirit led me. I spent all of my Capitol Records' royalties starting a halfway house and buying clothes and food for new converts." He was initially associated with the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and its Salt Company coffee shop outreach ministry, where he explored and pioneered the rock-gospel genre.
  • 1967
    Age 19
    Norman left People! before Capitol released the band's first album in the summer of 1967, but reunited with Mason for concerts in 1980 and 2006.
    More Details Hide Details According to rock historian Walter Rasmussen, Pete Townshend once said that The Who's 1969 album Tommy was inspired by the rock opera "Epic" by People!; however, Townshend has since denied the connection. Soon after Norman left People!, he had "a powerful spiritual encounter that threw him into a frenzy of indecision about his life and for the first time in his life, he received what he understood to be the Holy Spirit".
  • 1966
    Age 18
    In 1966 Norman opened a concert for People! at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.
    More Details Hide Details He later became the band's principal songwriter, sharing lead vocals with his Back Country Seven bandmate Gene M. Mason. People! performed about 200 concerts a year, appearing with Van Morrison and Them, The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Doors, The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Moby Grape, and San Jose bands Syndicate of Sound and Count Five. The band's cover of The Zombies' "I Love You" became a hit single, selling over one million copies and reaching No. 1 in several markets.
  • 1965
    Age 17
    Norman graduated from Campbell High School in 1965 and won an academic scholarship to major in English at San Jose State College.
    More Details Hide Details After one semester, Norman "flunked out of college and lost his scholarship". Although Norman was able to play a variety of musical instruments, he never learned to read or write musical notation. While still in high school, Norman formed a group called The Back Country Seven, which included his sister Nancy Jo and friend Gene M. Mason. After graduating, Norman continued performing and opened at local concerts for The Doors and Jimi Hendrix.
  • 1960
    Age 12
    In 1960, Norman's father began teaching in San José, California; the family lived in nearby Campbell.
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  • 1959
    Age 11
    In 1959, Norman performed on the syndicated television show The Original Amateur Hour.
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  • 1950
    Age 2
    In 1950 the family moved to San Francisco, where they attended a Black American Pentecostal church and then a Baptist church, where Norman became a Christian at the age of five.
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  • 1947
    Born on April 8, 1947.
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